Tuesday, September 18, 2012

IT FINALLY FEELS LIKE FALL! (Apple Cider Caramel Cookies)

Waking up to 49 degree weather will really energize you to put some socks on and close the window get out of bed.

I had big plans to make a cinnamon bread today but as soon as the cool, crisp air hit me I knew I needed something a little more festive. I have been eyeballing these Apple Cider Caramel Cookies since last fall, and today just seemed like the right day to make them.  Unfortunately, here in Chicago, they only carry the special cider mix at Walmart, so I did what any right minded person would do and took two bus rides to acquire this mix. Well, I survived said bus rides, escaping with only a mild run-in with a jazzy pony-tailed fellow wearing a mesh t-shirt under his business suit (at 9am). 

Ok, now definitely get off your butt and make these cookies! They are SO GOOD!

You will need:
1 cup unsalted butter, nearly melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (7.4 ounce) box Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink Mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) bag Kraft Caramels - I cut mine in half on the little indentations

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I didn't have any so I just used baking sheets that I sprayed with PAM and kept my eyes on them towards the end so the bottoms didn't get too browned)

2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, salt, and all 10 packets of apple cider mix until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract, then mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Add the flour and mix until just combined.

3. With a standard (size 50) cookie scoop, scoop the dough scrapping off the excess as you go up the bowl. Flatten the dough slightly in your hand and place a caramel in the center. Work the dough around the caramel sealing well. Place the cookies two inches apart on the sheets.  Note: I didn't have a cookie scoop either. Amateur. So I just used a tablespoon sized measuring spoon.

4. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. After baking, carefully slide the parchment with the cookies onto the counter. Let cool until they are no longer soft but still slightly warm. Twist gently to remove, and cool the rest of the way upside down on the parchment or on a cooling rack.


As they cool the caramel will harden so I just nuked one for about 5 seconds wrapped in a napkin and it was good as new! Let me know if you make them!

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